When you purchase a product, you expect that the manufacturer has met all the health and safety standards governing the building and selling of the product. The government regulates manufacturers to protect public safety.
However, sometimes products make it to the public with defects, and in some cases, these defects are severe enough to cause personal injury or even death. What happens when the public discovers that a faulty product is dangerous?
Discovering product liability
Unfortunately, one of the most common ways that the public discovers a product is faulty is when one or many people suffer injuries or death as a result of using the product. Vehicle defects are a prime example of this and constitute some of the biggest U.S. product liability cases. Faulty ignition switches in General Motors cars led to at least 13 deaths and 31 car accidents. General Motors set up an uncapped fund of $400 million to compensate victims.
Compensation for victims
A defective product that proves dangerous is usually recalled from the market as soon as someone discovers the faulty component. After the recall, however, victims of injuries as a result of the product defect may choose to file product liability lawsuits. These lawsuits stem from a wide variety of causes, including defective household items, explosions, defective design or manufacturing, electrical defects, and more. The important factor is that the injury occurred as a direct or indirect result of a defect or malfunction of the product itself. That is where the injured party can seek to hold the manufacturing company or other parties involved in the product's design or manufacture responsible.
In large-scale cases, such as those involving vehicle manufacturers, many people may suffer injuries from the same defect. When that occurs, the various victims may come together under one class action lawsuit. It is less expensive for each individual plaintiff to join in a class action lawsuit rather than file an individual suit. In addition, a class action lawsuit can be more effective when taking on a big corporation, because the number of different plaintiffs can increase the impact of the case.
People discover defective products every day, and all too often, these product defects cause injuries or even fatalities. If you have suffered an injury from a product, you should explore your legal options regarding how to seek appropriate compensation.